Care Portal

New IT System Will Transform Patient Care

Doctors will soon be able to see a patient’s complete medical record for the first time thanks to a ground-breaking new IT system installed across Lincolnshire. 

Until now health and care professionals have only been able to immediately access certain information held on their own systems, so a doctor or nurse in A&E would not be able to see a patient’s community health records or social care information. 

The new system will allow instant access, if a patient gives permission, to a complete set of medical and care records, helping health and care professionals make decisions quickly and appropriately. 

The new system called Care Portal – powered by InterSystems’ global leading health informatics platform ‘HealthShare’ – will also allow patients to access their own records online.  This will mean that patients will be able to see their test results and information on medication online.   

Patients will also be able to choose to share their records with others, such as family members and carers. 

The initiative was developed as part of the Lincolnshire Health and Care programme – a partnership of 13 health and care organisations across the county working together to find ways of transforming services. 

LHAC aims to find new ways of delivering health and care which provide better quality services that are sustainable for the future. 

As part of this work, which has involved hundreds of clinicians and included engagement with over 15,000 residents in the county, the lack of access to full medical records emerged as a key problem. 

Medical and care professionals identified the issue as a crucial hurdle to joined up services and a problem which currently wastes valuable staff time. 

Patients also made it clear they were frustrated when they often had to repeat their story several times to different people during their care. 

LHAC has managed to secure nearly £1m of NHS funding to support the introduction of the Care Portal and implementation will be phased over the next two years. 

The system will also improve the security and legibility of records, ensuring only those who need to see records do and improve decision making. 

East Lincs CCG accountable officer Gary James, who led the project for LHAC, said: “The Lincolnshire Care Portal is a major step forward for patients and is one of the first improvements to come from the Lincolnshire Health and Care (LHAC) programme.  

“All Lincolnshire health and care organisations have joined forces to develop the Portal, which will allow care professionals, with the patient’s permission, to see all the information relevant to that patient’s care.  

“This will improve the quality and safety of care and will also save staff time by providing fingertip access to the information they need to manage that patient’s care. The Portal will reduce duplication because everyone will access the same information once instead of duplicating tests or asking patients to repeat information. 

The Lincolnshire Care Portal has been supported by funding from NHS England as part of the drive to modernise and improve the NHS through the use of technology. 

Mark Palmer, Country Manager at InterSystems, said, “We are proud to be working in partnership with Lincolnshire Health and Care to support the transformation of the local healthcare system. It’s clear having the best information results in the best treatment. The HealthShare platform puts the clinician in control, providing all aspects of patient information that they need, when they need it.  

“LHAC shares our view that the secure and seamless transfer of data between providers is essential in supporting a healthcare system that delivers for patients and their families,” he added.